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Posted on March 21, 2017

Portrait of Cal U guest speaker Dr. Douglas W. Owsley

Cal U welcomes renowned anthropologist Dr. Douglas W. Owsley to campus on April 7 for a free public lecture.

Join us on campus for his talk or watch the presentation live online. Click to see the live webcast.

Owsley, division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., will give a lecture at 1 p.m. April 7 in the Morgan Hall auditorium titled “Three Decades of Identification: Advances in Civil War Bioarchaeology.”

One of Owsley’s recent projects included analysis and identification of individuals whose remains were recovered from within the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley.

His talk will discuss how the use of skeletal analysis, DNA analysis and historical research helps put remains into cultural context.

Owsley conducts extensive research on history and prehistoric populations from North America. These include the remains of 17th century colonists, Civil War soldiers and ancient Americans, such as the nearly 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man.

Highlights of his work at Jamestown, Va., and Historic St. Mary’s City, a museum site in Maryland, were featured in an exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History titled “Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake.”

Also on April 7, Owsley will visit students in Cal U’s anthropology program for a question-and-answer session and will be the keynote speaker later in the day for the Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society dinner at the SAI Farmhouse.

Owsley received his bachelor of science in zoology from the University of Wyoming and his Ph.D. in physical anthropology from the University of Tennessee.

Cal U connection

In 2014, Casey Bricker, then a senior majoring in forensic anthropology with minors in justice studies and forensic science, did a 10-week internship with Owsley for the Natural History Research Experience, funded by the National Science Foundation and hosted at the National Museum of Natural History.

She was one of just 17 undergraduates selected for the highly competitive program. Bricker assisted Owsley in analyzing the remains of four adults and two children in cast-iron coffins from mid-19th-century America.

Directions and map of campus

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology